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Welcome to the Spring 2011 issue of Databits! This “bumper” edition of our information management newsletter contains 20 interesting articles, from 16 authors, representing 12 LTER sites.

This is a time of increasing change, with external funding agencies and people both internal and external to our network realizing the value of effective research data management. In this edition, we have evidence that information management in the LTER network is alive and well and making great progress in response to new demands. The volume of articles submitted for this issue demonstrates just how much is going on in the information management arena.

Inside, you will find interesting articles describing network-sponsored workshops; commentaries on a wide range of experiences; descriptions of collaborations between sites; summaries of good external informatics and technology articles; and pointers to useful tools that can support our activities. This is an exciting issue with something for everyone.

In particular, this issue contains several articles from our colleagues in San Diego. Is this because they are clearing out the cupboards? Apparently, it is. We are sad to note that Karen Baker and Mason Kortz are moving on to pastures new. No spoilers (read the article!), but the editors would like to be some of the first, and we are sure not the last, to thank Karen and Mason for their significant contributions to their sites (PAL and CCE), the LTER Network, and especially the IM community. We wish you well in your new endeavors. You will be missed.

Now we know you will want to read on. So, don’t delay. Proceed to your nearest purveyor of premium, organically grown, coffee products, with your smartphone, netbook, iPad, or laptop, under your arm. Pause just long enough to order a “moccochoccovanilla, double something” and dive right in!

—– Co-editors: Philip Tarrant (CAP) and John Chamblee (CWT)

Table of Contents

Featured Articles
Network identity: 2009 All-Site Milestone and Reflection on GovernanceKaren S. Baker, Nicole Kaplan2
Making Space for Information ManagementJoan Donovan2
LTER Information Management: Continuing Education and Site ChangeKaren Baker and Mason Kortz2
Technical Roles: Am I In IT?Shaun Haber3
Review: The PersonnelDB Design and Development WorkshopMason Kortz4
Systems Upgrade through Technology Transfer across LTERs: Who Benefits?John F. Chamblee and Wade Sheldon6
Putting it Out There – Making the Transition to Open Source Software DevelopmentWade Sheldon7
Information Management, in situ: the value of embedding an IM in a Synthesis Working GroupM. Gastil-Buhl8
Notes on DesignJames Conners8
Information Management, Data Repositories, and Data CurationKaren Baker8
Telling the Story of the LTER Information: Seizing OpportunitiesEda Melendez-Colom9
Reducing data complications while capturing data complexityMargaret O’Brien and M. Gastil-Buhl10
Challenges and Opportunities Offered by the NISMargaret O’Brien and Don Henshaw11
Good Tools and Programs
Wordle: Tool for Generating Text VisualizationKaren Baker12
Managing Controlled Vocabularies with “TemaTres”John Porter12
Validating Metadata at the VCR LTERBridget Long12
Good Reads
Communicating ScienceJonathan Walsh13
A Special Issue of Science on DataKaren Baker13
Collaborative, Cross-disciplinary LearningKaren Baker14
The Dark Side of the InternetPhilip Tarrant14